Special Assistance

Mobility aids

If you need to travel with a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walking frame or crutches, we'll be happy to welcome you on board along with two items free of charge.

We recommend you pre-book the complimentary assistance or service that you need as early as possible and no less than 48 hours before your flight. This will ensure that everything can be arranged to create a smooth journey. Please note that if you pre-book the special assistance for your outward flight, arrangements will also be booked for your return flight, provided that you are travelling with the same carrier.

Information on how to book your assistance and contact our dedicated special assistance team can be found here. We'll send you written confirmation of your special assistance booking once it has been completed.

You’ll also need to be at the airport on the day of your flight in good time – at least three hours for long-haul and two hours for short-haul – to reach your departure gate for priority boarding.

Manual powered mobility aid

If you need equipment in order to support your own mobility we will transport up to two mobility aids for you free of charge (e.g. manual powered wheelchair, walking frame, crutches).

Walking sticks and crutches can be carried on board our aircraft. This will not count as hand luggage so will not count towards your standard allowance.

Battery powered mobility aid

The type of wheelchair you have will determine how we are able to load it onto the aircraft. Before a mobility aid is loaded onto our aircraft, Thomas Cook Airlines must be satisfied that the mobility aid has been made safe in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions (see details below). If Thomas Cook Airlines cannot be satisfied or where it has been established that the mobility aid hasn’t been made safe, Thomas Cook will refuse carriage of the mobility aid. In such circumstances Thomas Cook is not under obligation to make it safe.

There are other factors which could prevent the carriage of an electric mobility aid, including:

  • The mobility aid dimensions exceed cargo door dimensions
  • The tare (unladen) weight of the mobility aid exceeds the aircraft loading limitations after all possible load-spreading options have been considered
  • Insufficient space being available on the aircraft at the time your booking is made
  • Thomas Cook Airlines is not satisfied that the requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions have been met in relation to the safe carriage of a customers mobility aid.

Thomas Cook Airlines has a fleet of various aircraft types and we cannot guarantee the type of aircraft a customer will be travelling on at the time of booking. However, the minimum hold dimensions are as follows: 

Width: 1.27 m/50 in
Height: 1.07 m/42 in
Length: 1.4 m/55 in

Please note that certain aircraft types may have larger dimensions than those shown above so if your mobility aid is larger than these minimum dimensions then please contact us so that we can discuss your requirements.

Availability of information on specific electric mobility aids:

User guides on electric mobility aids usually include the tare weight and dimensions. The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has compiled (in conjunction with its members) a log containing all of the information needed by an airport and airline to facilitate the safe carriage of many mobility aids.

We need the following information before you travel:

  • Make and Model of the Electric Mobility Aid

Type of battery:

  • WCBD - Non Spillable Batteries
  • WCBW - Wet Cell Batteries – Spillable
  • WCLB - Lithium ion Batteries
  • Number of batteries
  • The TARE (un-laden) weight
  • Dimensions (i.e. length x width x height)
  • Instructions for preventing inadvertent operation (see below for your specific battery type).

It’s the responsibility of the airport operators to assist anyone with a disability during their time at the airport. Airlines must provide the airport with information in advance so that the appropriate service can be offered. To enable us to pass your request to them, please contact us as soon as possible with the details of your device. In accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are required to notify Thomas Cook, at least 48hrs prior to travel.

Mobility aids with LITHIUM batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid the following must be completed before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please ensure the following:

  • If the battery is to be detached from the wheelchair then the battery must not exceed 300 Wh, if the battery will remain connected to the wheelchair then there is no Watt Hour Maximum limit
  • A maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares each not exceeding 160Wh can be carried. Spare batteries must be carried in the passenger cabin and you must ensure the circuits are protected from short circuit
  • That the battery terminals are protected from short circuits - The battery terminals of current models of electric mobility aids tend to be protected from short circuit through the battery being fully encased and an integral part of the device. Batteries do not necessarily need to be disconnected because if this is not done correctly it could increase the risk of fire. On other models where the terminals are exposed it may be necessary to insulate battery terminals, e.g. with electrical insulating tape
  • That electrical circuits are inhibited to prevent inadvertent operation. The means of inhibiting circuits to prevent the accidental activation of electric mobility aids vary. Some have a key which can be switched to the off position and removed. An aid which is only switched on and off with a push-button could be reactivated in flight by the inadvertent movement of baggage or cargo therefore, further steps are required to inhibit the circuits of such devices. For example disconnecting electric cable plugs or connectors, or inserting an inhibiting plug (such as the Airsafe plug) into the charging socket of the devices
  • Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair
  • Where a lithium battery powered mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. a collapsible device), the battery must be removed, the terminals protected from short circuit and carried in the aircraft cabin

Mobility aids with NON SPILLABLE batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid, the following must be completed before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please inform us of the following:

  • The battery terminals must be protected from short circuits - The battery terminals of current models of electric mobility aids tend to be protected from short circuit through the battery being fully encased and an integral part of the device. Batteries do not necessarily need to be disconnected because if this is not done correctly it could increase the risk of fire. On other models where the terminals are exposed it may be necessary to insulate battery terminals, e.g. with electrical insulating tape.
  • Electrical circuits must be inhibited to prevent inadvertent operation - The means of inhibiting circuits to prevent the accidental activation of electric mobility aids vary. Some have a key which can be switched to the off position and removed. An aid which is only switched on and off with a push-button could be reactivated in flight by the inadvertent movement of baggage or cargo therefore, further steps are required to inhibit the circuits of such devices, for example disconnecting electric cable plugs or connectors, or inserting an inhibiting plug (such as an Airsafe plug) into the charging socket of the devices.
  • Installed batteries must be securely attached to the chair.
  • Where the mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its non spillable battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. a collapsible device) - The battery must be removed, the terminal protected from short circuit and carried in strong rigid packaging in the aircraft hold. Thomas Cook will not provide the packaging. This must be provided by the customer.
  • No spare batteries are allowed.

Mobility aids with SPILLABLE batteries

To ensure the safe carriage of your wheelchair/mobility aid the following must be completed before the wheelchair is loaded on to the aircraft. Please ensure the following:

Provided that the Wheelchair / Mobility Aid can be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position then the battery may remain installed in the Wheelchair/ Mobility Aid. It must be verified that:

  • The battery terminals are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container.
  • The battery is securely attached to the Wheelchair / Mobility Aid.
  • Electrical circuits have been isolated.
  • No spare batteries are allowed.

If the wheelchair or mobility aid cannot be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded in an upright position, the battery must be removed. The wheelchair or mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction. The removed battery must be carried in strong, rigid packaging as follows:

  • Packaging must be leak-tight, and resistant to battery fluid.
  • Batteries must be protected against short circuits, secured upright in these packaging and surrounded by compatible absorbent material sufficient to absorb their total liquid contents.
  • The packaging must be marked "BATTERY, WET, WITH WHEELCHAIR" OR "BATTERY, WET, WITH MOBILITY AID" and be labelled with the "Corrosive" label and with the "Package Orientation" label.
  • No spare batteries are allowed.

Thomas Cook Airlines is not responsible for packaging the battery. This must be carried out by a Cargo Shipping Company in accordance with the current Dangerous Goods Regulations. Customers are recommended to make advance arrangements.

We recommend all customers that batteries which are spillable should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps whenever possible.

Claims and compensation

If you wish to make a claim for lost or damaged mobility equipment, then please refer to Section B. Para 27, of our Terms and Conditions of Carriage

Please note that our liability for lost or damaged baggage and equipment is limited in accordance with the International Conventions. You can find further details about our liability on our Lost or Damaged baggage page, and in our Terms and Conditions of Carriage in Section 27 ‘Airline Liability’.

Insurance for Wheelchairs

Strict protocols are in place to support the safe handling and stowage of wheelchairs, however, it is important to ensure that you have appropriate insurance cover in place to protect you in the event of damage, although these situations are extremely rare.  The airlines liability is restricted to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (aprx £1,042/1,185 eu’s depending on exchange rate) under the Montreal Convention.  You can find further details about our liability on our Lost or Damaged baggage page, and in our Terms and Conditions of Carriage in Section 27 ‘Airline Liability’.  A Special Declaration can be purchased at check-in, which will increase this liability to 2,000 Special Drawing Rights (aprx £2,084/2,370 eu’s depending on exchange rate).   Please ask our Ground Handling Agents at check-in about this additional cover if you are interested.  If the value of your wheelchair exceeds this, you must ensure that either your travel insurance, or other insurance cover is available to support a claim.